20 Secrets of People Who Live With Borderline Personality Disorder

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There are many things you may not know about borderline personality disorder (BPD). Like how it affects 50 percent more people than Alzheimer’s disease. Or how research has shown people with BPD who engage in treatment have good outcomes. Or how just because you’ve seen one media portrayal of someone with BPD, doesn’t mean you know what someone with BPD is actually like.

To shine some light on this misunderstood mental illness, we asked people in our community who live with borderline personality disorder to tell us what they wish others understood.

Here’s what they want you to know:

1. “I feel everything, all the time. It’s exhausting. But it also makes me passionate, which is beautiful.” — Aliçia Sarah Raimundo

A quote by Aliçia Sarah Raimundo that says, "I feel everything, all the time. It's exhausting. But it also makes me passionate, which is beautiful."

2. “Please don’t point out when I overreact. It’s not easy to get over it myself. I beat myself up over my words and actions fine on my own.” — Tatauq Helena Muma

3. “We feel more intensely. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re more sensitive. Depression just isn’t depression for us; it’s rockbottom. Happiness isn’t just happiness; it’s the greatest high ever.” — Heather Yonkers

4. “My mind and heart could be telling you I love you while my words are the direct opposite. Don’t take it personally. Allow me to take a nap or write down my thoughts for better communication.” — LeChondra Sapp

5. “Don’t believe the stereotype. Not everyone with BPD has anger outbursts and manipulative behaviors. That’s the type of BPD often portrayed to the extreme in the media, but not everyone with BPD is the same! Just because I don’t fit the stereotypical borderline doesn’t make my illness less valid. — Alyse Ruriani

A quote from Alyse Ruriani that says, "Just because I don't fit the stereotypical borderline doesn't make my illness less valid."

6. “BPD is the best curse. To be able to feel every emotion to the fullest can often be very rewarding. However, we feel the bad to the fullest, too. The smallest problem could feel like the end of the world. Personally, I have lost a lot of people because I’m ‘too much to handle.’ The struggle is real, but guess what? Without stuggle there is no progress.” — Tia Marie

7. “There’s no reason to be afraid of me.” — Jennifer Davis

 

8. “I’m not trying to start drama.” — Mary Hannah Cleve

9. “My moods change constantly. I have zero control of my own emotions. If you think it’s a roller coaster knowing me, imagine how hard it is being stuck in my own head. I promise you that I’m trying hard to keep myself in check, it’s really difficult though.” — Sam Thayer

A quote from Sam Thayer that says, "If you think it's a roller coaster knowing me, imagine how hard it is being stuck in my own head."

10. “I wish people understood the fear of abandonment. It’s so hard to trust.” — Aunt Sam

11. “I’m not ‘difficult’ — even psychiatrists assume this! I’ve had doctors make up excuses not to see me when I mention borderline. I’ve learned not to even talk about it.” — Jenna Bagnini

12. “We are not all manipulative, selfish people.” — Maureen Damico

13. “I’m just as confused by it as you are.” — Vikki Rose Donaghy

A quote from Vikki Rose Donaghy that says, "I'm just as confused by it as you are."

14. “Please don’t say, ‘It’s because of your BPD’ all the time. My opinion matters even if it doesn’t line up with your opinion. I am not my diagnosis.” — Victoria Torgerson

15. “Sometimes my constantly switching moods may seem conflicting and make you frustrated, but I’m the one experiencing it. Sometimes I can’t make sense of it either.” — Christina Chalgren

 

16. “When I say my moods switch within seconds, I mean literally seconds. That’s why I always say ‘I’m OK’ — because I’ve been called a liar when my mood changes from an extreme high to an extreme low in two seconds. It’s like being on a roller coaster I can’t get off of, no matter how badly I want to.” — Dylan Jonathen Kirchhoff

17. “We’re not all lying, attention-seekers. Sometimes we’re just doing our best to survive with the limited skills we have.” — Mirella Joy

A quote from Mirella Joy that says, "We're not all lying, attention-seekers. Sometimes we're just doing our best to survive with the limited skills we have."

18. “Living with borderline can be overwhelming, horrible and wonderful all at once. My emotions can be all over the place, but I’m doing the best I can. This is part of who I am, but it doesn’t make me any less of a person.” — Miranda Tymoschuk

19. “I have trouble regulating my emotions. Something someone else might be able to let roll off their shoulders might overwhelm me. Living with borderline personality disorder means I have to fight to survive every day.” — Meghan Winter

20. “My personality disorder doesn’t define who I am, it explains it. Yet in many ways I’ve learned from having it. It’s not all bad — it’s a humbling learning experience.” — Kerri Wolfton

A quote from Kerri Wolfton that says, "My personality disorder doesn't define who I am, it explains it."

*Answers have been edited and shortened. 

 

Editor’s note: Number seven has been reedited to delete a line pertaining to “multiple personalities.” 

20 Secrets of People Who Live With Borderline Personality Disorder

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